Frightfully Fun: Japan’s Ghosts, Ghouls, and Haunted Houses

“Baby in Hell”: The Latest Haunted House Attraction of a Horror Maestro


View posters of past haunted houses produced by master of fear Gomi Hirofumi and watch a team enter his most recent creation.

For 25 years, haunted house producer Gomi Hirofumi has provided a chilling antidote to each summer’s heat with a new and terrifying creation. Just looking at the posters for past attractions may induce a frisson of horror, yet it is undeniable that fear has its own curious pleasures for many. The haunted houses are held at the Tokyo Dome City Attractions (formerly Kōrakuen) theme park.

This summer’s spectacle Akanbō jigoku (Baby in Hell) will run from July 15 to September 25. It returns to the story of Gomi’s 1996 attraction with the same title that was Japan’s first “mission-style” haunted house. Two decades ago, a girl was born between a demon from the spirit world and a human woman. Visitors were entrusted with the mission of rescuing the baby from a realm of countless evil spirits and returning her to her mother. This time, the grown-up daughter has had her own baby snatched away. Do you have the courage to enter a world of malevolence and save an innocent child?

Look through our selection of posters from past attractions for a taste of Gomi’s brand of terror and steel yourself for the challenge ahead.

Gallery of Fear

Akanbō jigoku (Baby in Hell) (2016)

The original Akanbō jigoku (Baby in Hell) (1996).

Kyōfu no tejō jigoku (Terror in Handcuffs) (2000); visitors were handcuffed together.

Noroi no isu (The Death Chair) (2001); visitors rescued the person sitting in the “death chair.”

Yami no shika byōtō (Dentist of Darkness) (2007); visitors looked into the mouths of corpses as part of the mission.

Ashikari no ie (House of the Foot-cutters) (2010); first, visitors took off their shoes and then they heard a voice say, “Give me your feet. . .”

Noroiha (The Cursed Tooth) (2013); visitors had to remove the cursed black tooth from a dead woman.

Kyōfu no kakurenbo yashiki (Hide and Shriek) (2014); visitors tried to find a murdered child playing hide and seek.

Noroi yubiwa no ie (House of the Cursed Ring) (2015); visitors had to put a ring on the broken finger of the heroine Ayuko.

Into the Darkness

If you want to know a little more before journeying to the other side and fending off demons, take a look at the video below to find out how a advance party fared.

You should know, however, that Baby in Hell is a very different experience by night, compared with by day. It takes fear to another level. Be warned.

Baby in Hell

Dates: Friday, July 15 to Sunday, September 25, 2016.
Hours: Scream version: 10 am to 4 pm
Superscream version: 5 pm to 10 pm
Open from 9:30 am from Thursday, August 11 to Monday, August 15.
Closes at 9 pm on July 15 and from September 1.
Venue: Tokyo Dome City Attractions
Ages: 6 and up

(Originally published in Japanese on July 21, 2016. Video shot and edited by Ōtani Kiyohide of

culture horror haunted house Gomi Hirofumi Tokyo Dome City